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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I found this forum after Googling and finding steve9e posts.

Now ive just acquired a CB400A, theres a couple of issues. It hasn't been on the road since 1999 and I have no motorbike licence. :D


Heres what I know. DVLA says that it was manufactured in 1979, however it was imported in 1997 and it was sorn in 1999, Honda Motorbike Twitter gave me an email to send the VIN number to and they should tell me the origin. I believe it's American as the speedo is in MPH. However I don't know yet.

The frame has a 1978 sticker on it, but the bike has the later black wheels.

Its a one previous (UK) owner bike, I was told the gentleman had died. So, I don't know if the bike ran when it was put away in 1999.

Apart from the missing handbrake button, I believe it's complete... but, I know nothing about bikes. So the engine could be missing for all I know. :D
I like anything oddball, which is why i've ended up with this. I wish it had the later style fuel tank, but thats me being nitpicky.


Anyway, this is not going to be back on the road within days, Id like it by next summer, but we shall see.

Thanks
Adam


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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Just from perusing the forum, I notice that the wheels are the wrong colour. The kick start lever is missing.
The petrol tank isn’t off an A?

And the colour is wrong?

I believe this is possibly an American import, are there any differences?
 

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Tank looks correct, the CB400 A and T2 used the same slab sided tank, the T1 was rounded like the 1981 CM400E.
This is the right tank for yours
Fuel tank Red Automotive fuel system Motorcycle accessories Vehicle

The wheels appear to have been painted and the body work is definitely a repaint. Remove the tank and look in the tunnel, it's usually not painted during a repaint and will give you an idea of the original. These are the 2 color choice Honda had https://www.motorera.com/honda/h0400/amati400.htm
There should be a riveted VIN plate on the steering neck that has things like the production date and emission/safety info for where it was sold.
 
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Cb400A in Hull

hi AM,

Ah, another victim to the charms of the 400A !;)
I am certain I can help you and will contact you via PM etc.
Date of manufacture and registration are often quite different as these bikes often stood unsold in the dealers for a few years.
At a glance from your pics it looks as if it has the Dream tank which some of the early ones had. I currently have an article in the Real Classic (Nov) mag about the "learning curve" I had to go through to get my first one on the road, which incidentally had the Dream tank also.
As I say I will contact you . I am located at Darlington in Co/Durham just up the road from you .
Longdistancerider is a great guy and i have enjoyed his correspondence over the recent years.
If in doubt ASK!:eek:
Cheers
Steve

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Hello, I found this forum after Googling and finding steve9e posts.

Now ive just acquired a CB400A, theres a couple of issues. It hasn't been on the road since 1999 and I have no motorbike licence. :D


Heres what I know. DVLA says that it was manufactured in 1979, however it was imported in 1997 and it was sorn in 1999, Honda Motorbike Twitter gave me an email to send the VIN number to and they should tell me the origin. I believe it's American as the speedo is in MPH. However I don't know yet.

The frame has a 1978 sticker on it, but the bike has the later black wheels.

Its a one previous (UK) owner bike, I was told the gentleman had died. So, I don't know if the bike ran when it was put away in 1999.

Apart from the missing handbrake button, I believe it's complete... but, I know nothing about bikes. So the engine could be missing for all I know. :D
I like anything oddball, which is why i've ended up with this. I wish it had the later style fuel tank, but thats me being nitpicky.


Anyway, this is not going to be back on the road within days, Id like it by next summer, but we shall see.

Thanks
Adam
hi AM

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Welcome to the forum. Great to see another 400 series here.
 
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Looks like the wiring harness is missing from the change switch. These are very hard to find but there are ways around it. Steve9e and LDR can help and maybe me a little. Their are members with 400A parts for sale so ask if your looking for something. Welcome to the forum.


Bill
 

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AstonMartin I think I would remove the change switch, located on the right side case under the right carb, and see if it works. You can check it with a ohm meter. If it works you can make a wiring harness for it. If it doesnt there is a sticky on this site that will explain your options. It would help to know what changes you are going to make before taking the motor down. I think steve9e ran into this problem on a 400A he worked on. But maybe you will get lucky and find one.

Just a thought.

Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Hi Bill, I’ve found this picture online of a complete A. I’ll have a look tomorrow if there’s any wires hiding anywhere.


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The ultimate goal is originality, try and keep it as stock as possible... assuming it’s not a parts bike as I haven’t touched it since I put it away.
 

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Hi AM,
The change switch can easily be repaired and it is a clever 2 stage simple device operated by a spring loaded "finger" which runs on a gearbox cam. My first bike did not have one but keep your eye open for a S/H loom which often still has the switch fitted. That is how I got mine.Basically it only operates the 1 & 2 indicators on the nacelle.
I have revitalised quite a few bikes over the years which were in the state yours looks like, and the task may not be easy? Without speaking to you the first thing I would do is clean the thing. The heart of the 400A is the engine and gearbox unit and some basic jobs are not fixed without major surgery and the lump is a big ole thing to handle.
In an ideal world the plan should be to see if it will run after checking out if the engine is free,, electric starter operation, fuel system & the ignition system . All these tasks can be done without pulling the thing to bits, but the initial cleaning down and visual check is very important and at least you do not have to spend any cash to do what I suggest.
Depending on your findings you will then be in a position to decide whether or not to continue or cut your losses.
Do not underestimate the task you may take on .
When I think about it that is what the previous owner of my first Hondamatic must have done, doing a rebuild without knowing if it was going to work at the end?
Good luck my friend.;)
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I don’t know if I’m going to get chance to work on the bike this week, it might have to wait until next weekend.

Steve, the bike cost me £500 (I know I overpaid) If all goes well, I’m willing to spend another £500 to get it working if I have to.
However, hopefully it’s a cheap fix
 

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hi aston,

Like I said do some basic checks before you commit. Cash can quickly mount up if you are not prepared or have the experience. I depends what you expect at the end ?:(
£ 500 will go nowhere if you are aiming for a tidy bike.
cheers
 

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Hi. All wiring looks complete. Whats you game plan ? does the motor turn over ? Can you install a fresh battery and see what works and what doesnt ? Do you have a spark checker ? About $10.00 US. It will save a lot of work ,you put it between the plug lead and the plug and it lights up when and if the plug fires. If the motor will turn over it will give a indication of the the stator and CDI box working. These simple checks will give an idea of the condition of the motor. Just some thoughts.

Bill
 

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Hi aston,

Bill H advice is good - see what you can get out of it to try and assess the condition especially the electrics, I noticed that the tank filler cover is missing. See the pic of my No 1 bike refered to in my earlier blog.

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Good luck you have a job on your hands i think.
 
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Another thought. if you put in a fresh battery put the bike in gear and see if the indicator lights goes from neutral to first. This will tell you if the change switch is working. If not working put the bike in neutral. If not you will loose a couple of things but you can worry with them later. The starter and ing system will still work if the motor will turn over. Neutral is not wired thru the change switch and the stater and ing should work

Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I’m going to buy a battery and a kickstart as mine is missing, I assume a T version is the same?

Steve, I thought the tank cover version had hinges on the tank? Mine has no hinge or catch.
 

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The person who painted the tank removed the hinge mount plate and the lid lock plate. I suspect you'll find lots of body filler in that area. Here's what the top should look like
Red Automotive exterior Bumper Auto part Helmet

Not sure about the kick starter lever, part number is specific to the A model and the shaft it's connected to is also specific to the A. A manual lever may work, probably will.
 
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